NGC 185 & NGC 147 -- Elliptical Galaxies in Cassiopeia
Andromeda Galaxy’s other Dwarf Satellites
When viewing the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) through a telescope, its two brightest satellite
galaxies (M32 & M110) stand out in the same low-power field-of-view.
The Andromeda Galaxy is the heavy weight in the Local Group of galaxies of which the slightly
smaller Milky Way is a member. As large as the Andromeda Galaxy is, it should come as no
surprise that it has, at least, 14 dwarf satellite galaxies caught in its immediate gravitational
pull. Almost all these companion galaxies are beyond the reach of a modest-sized amateur
The next two brightest M31 satellite galaxies, after M32 and M110, resides 7-degrees north of
the Andromeda Galaxy proper in the constellation Cassiopeia. This pair of dwarf galaxies,
NGC 185 and NGC 147, are only about 1-degree from each other and can be seen together in
a same low-power field-of-view.
In the 110mm refractor at Alpha Ridge Park, under a moonless sky, NGC 185 stood out faintly,
but NGC 147 was more challenging. In the 3.13-degree field-of-view provided by my 31mm
Nagler (25x) eyepiece, I struggled to see NGC 147, only catching a fleeting glimpse of it. After
I pushed the power to 171x using a 4.5mm Delos, I could make out NGC 147’s slightly-oval
Both NGC 185 and NGC 147 lacked any detail in my small refractor. Both dwarf-galaxies
ceased to produce stars well over 1 billion years ago, and thus glow only by old star-light. This
pair of old-star-light galaxies, as seen from 2.3 million light years, made for a nice sight.